Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Right now, Topps is just a one-night stand

Something occurred to me when I was buying that value pack of Topps Chrome the other day.

Because of circumstance and general lack of interest, I go to the card aisle maybe every other week these days. Sometimes less, sometimes more. But on average, every two weeks.

When I'm there, I don't always buy something. Often, I'm just looking. And my pack purchasing of 2013 cards has been limited entirely to "let's see what this is like," the occasional Dodger and potential trade bait.

I am not trying to complete any sets with these purchases. I have no long-term commitment to these cards. When I make a card aisle visit, it's for nothing but a quick thrill. A flurry of wrappers; some oohs and aahs; wham, bam, thank you ma'am.

Now consider what I am planning to do this weekend.

There is a card show scheduled. But it is being held in exact same place as the biggest dirt auto race of the year. People from everywhere will be coming to the Syracuse fairgrounds to watch this race. It's going to be mobbed, loud and filled with everything that makes me want to curl up in a ball.

But I'm planning to go. I'm planning to get up much earlier than I usually do, sacrificing necessary sleep to do so, and sit in as long a traffic jam, park as far away as necessary, walk as long as I have to so I can attend this show.

I'm planning that because not only will it be the first card show I've been to in six months, but because I know what's there. There are cards that I want there. Sets I want to complete. Sets that I've been trying to complete for YEARS

I am committed to those sets. I have a lifelong bond with those sets. Trying to complete a 1972 set is not a fling, it's a committed, long-term relationship.

And that's where I am in collecting right now. That's the difference between today's 2013 sets and the vintage and not-so-vintage sets of yesteryear that I'm trying to complete.

You can blame that on me or blame it on how Topps creates its sets today.

But to me, right now, Topps is just a one-night stand.

(P.S.: Go Pirates)


  1. I hear you. I am only finishing this year's flagship because I am pretty close to it. I may get one or two packs of Update, but that it's. I saw next year's flagship - it will be a total pass on those cards. But I am getting all jacked on a few older sets, and starting to build a '64 set. It's a whole different ball game.

  2. Best of luck at the card show N.O.! Looking forward to seeing the spoils...

  3. I was so stoked initially for all the upcoming 2013 products but I seem to have grown weary of them pretty quick...That and budget constraints have limited my pack purchasing. You're definitely not alone with the "wham bam thank you maam!"

  4. When it comes to card shows, sleep is overrated. Best of luck!

  5. I think you have made the best comparison that I have seen in a very long time. Growing I spent the entire baseball season basically collecting the same set, well three sets T,F,D, but it was mostly the Topps set. In 2013, the Topps set is old news by the time the Heritage set comes out, which is old news when Gypsy Queen comes out, which is old news when Archives comes out, which is old news when Series 2 comes out, which is old news when A&G comes out, which is old news when Update comes out. Oh yeah and Bowman is in there too somewhere.

    I have really only really collected one modern set since I got back into the hobby, 2011 Opening Day, and that was just to see if I could do a complete master set. Topps is definitely ignoring set collectors (and even team collectors somewhat) and is focused on primarily player collectors and hit collectors nowadays. It gets depressing, so I try not to think too much about it.

  6. I am with you, many of the products now seem so "ho hum". I open packs from time to time to see what is out and occasionally will find something of interest but normally once I open a pack or two from a set I move on to another product. Good luck with the card show.